joint post: JAVIER & COLETTE / Rootdry Town → Ferrow Forest
Javier and Colette went outside the lab. The sun was already low in the sky, so Javier guessed that it was something past four o’ clock in the afternoon. “Where is he?” Javier saw the messy-looking kid enter the Ferrow Forest. That leads out the village. The two of them ran towards the guy into the forest.
The boy in front of them was running as well, but Colette wasn't sure if he already noticed he was being followed. Regardless, the woods would inevitably make it more difficult to give chase. ''Hey, um...'' Colette realised she didn't know her companion's name yet. This wasn't exactly the best time for introductions, however. ''Are you familiar around here? Is there any way we can drive him into a corner or something?...''
"Me? Familiar?" Javier shook his head. He was far from being tired, but perspiration was already beading on his forehead. Probably due to the heat. "Never bothered to explore the village, nor the forest. All I know is that," Javier pointed towards where the boy is running. "That leads out the village. We better keep on running so as to catch up to him."
Colette nodded. They were steadily approaching the entrance of the forest. Unfortunately, as they were getting closer to the thief, he'd picked up on them; occasionally, the sloppily-dressed trainer looked back, and threw them an irritated look. Still, it was as if he didn't pay them much mind just yet. Soon they found out the reason for his confidence: fairly quickly after they'd gone into the forest, the trainer strayed from the beaten path, into the much more densely forested area. Clearly, he must have known the forest like the back of his hand.
The two of them followed the kid into the deeper parts of the forest, both of them panting hard. The kid soon gained advantage of the situation; his twist and turns made Javier redouble his efforts in keeping up with the kid. However, his lack of knowledge in the forest, and the kid's apparent mastery over it, took its toll on the chase. Once or twice, Javier thought that the kid had lost them, only to find that he was several meters away from them, running through thick brambles of bush. Soon enough, the kid was already far from the duo.
She had never been in extremely good shape, and it was beginning to show. Colette's jumps weren't as high, her turns weren't as swift - it wouldn't be long until she---
BAM. She tripped over a surfaced tree root, and now she'd hit the ground hard. Colette cursed under her breath and scrambled to her feet. That'd done it, however. The criminal had disappeared into the lush greenery of the forest.
The two trainers continued to run in the direction he disappeared in. Suddenly, they came back to what seemed to be a path.
''He must've known this was here. I can't tell which way he went though...'' Colette crouched down to see if she could distinguish any footprints, but couldn't tell. She looked up at Javier. ''Should we split up?''